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TdF 2003 Primer(4 posts)

TdF 2003 Primergrettm
Apr 21, 2003 4:27 AM
I have been asleep at the wheel this year. Who are Lance's major threats and is Jan going to ride? I am a casual cycling watcher and I don't want to wait until the last second to see who are the major players in the next Tour....

Is Jan healthy or is he still drinking and wrecking his bike?
re: TdF 2003 Primerrussw19
Apr 21, 2003 9:12 AM
Jan is apparently healthy and fit right now, but there are still lingering questions of Coast's participation in the Tour or any other races this year. I expect main competition to come from Simoni, Escartin, Hamilton, Frigo, and Beloki (well not really him, but that's the talk...)

Personally without Ullrich, I think the biggest competition could be Frigo or Casagrande if he can show up healthy. He seems to get himself either too tired or hurt in the Giro every year. But there should be some good comp for the stage wins this year with Cippo set to be there and with something to prove. Should be a fun one.

Russ
Interesting, some other picksboneman
Apr 21, 2003 12:46 PM
Escartin has retired.

Frigo himself has stated he is not suited for any 3 week tours and his great success has been in one day races or shorter stage races such as Paris-Nice. Plus, surprisingly, he doesn't like racing in the heat!

Casagrande's going to concentrate on the Giro, a personal and sponsor objective, so I doubt he'll have enough left for the Tour.

Ullrich, good to seem him back but who know's at this time?

Assuming everyone arrives healthy:

Ivan Basso- Maybe not this year but very soon, he'll be on the podium. His teamate Aitor Gonzalez, the maybe man as in last year's Vuelta win showed he can TT but I think his climbing is suspect on the longer climbs of the Tour.

Francesco Mancebo- One of my picks last year but was too inconsistent in the mountains. Cannot really TT so needs to do well in the climbs.

Beloki- Consistent but will he be going up as LA is coming down? Three podiums in three years is a rather good showing. Good team and organisation. Definite contender.

Simoni- Hard to tell. Didn't race that much last year and really haven't seen enough this year to tell how he's going.

The team with the riders to watch is Telekom. They're focusing on the tour and have signed Botero (Mr. Inconsistent but at least he's graceful enough to admit same), Cadel Evans and Paolo Savodelli.

I expect Beloki, Aitor Gonzalez, Simoni, Botero and Evans to provide the most competition. Give Lance his due, he's shown at Tour time that he's one of the best climbers as well as time trialists in the World, plus he's consistent.

When does the age catch up? Who knows and besides, it's way too early to start handicapping but I think they'll be looking at this a lot, taken in Paris last year.
Interesting, some other picksrussw19
Apr 21, 2003 7:53 PM
Whoops...forgot about Escartin, but I still think Frigo is a valid contender. Let's see... last year, he finished 10th in the Giro... the year before he was in 2nd place on stage 19 when he was tossed. As for Casagrande, you are also right about the Giro as the priority, but we'll see what happens come july, but I doubt he's a big player for the Tour as much as for the Giro. But as we all know, we can throw names out from now till the start of the Tour, but it won't make a difference... we just have to see when they start racing. But I do think it's Lance's Tour to lose. If I had to put down money, I wouldn't mind a bet in his name.

Russ